Downswell confident U-20 Girlz reaching World Cup

March 17, 2023
Wendell Downswell
Wendell Downswell

Jamaica Football Federation's Technical Director, Wendell, Downswell, believes the current players are good enough and have the experience to book a spot at next year's FIFA Women's Under-20 World Cup in Uzbekistan.

Downswell currently has Jamaica's Under-20 Reggae Girlz in preparation mode for the Concacaf Women's Under-20 Championships. The young Reggae Girlz are drawn in Group E, to be played at the National Stadium in Managua, Nicaragua, from April 14 to 22.

"We had a camp last weekend, and we will be having another this weekend along with the hosting of continuous camps for the young ladies. The good thing about it is that a number of the players are busily engaged in the schoolgirls' competition and the National Women's Premier League," he stated.

No stranger to international assignments, Downswell believes the coaching staff has a good crop of players at their disposal and added that having former Under-17 and Under-20 players in the ranks add to their experience.

"We have a good cadre of players to choose from, therefore, it's just for us to prepare them as best we can to get them to a satisfactory level. I think we have a fairly good set of players. We have players who've transitioned from the Under-17 and Under-20, so we have a good blend," Downswell believes.

The veteran coach, who won the 2005 Caribbean Cup title and reached the quarterfinals of the 2005 Gold Cup with the Reggae Boyz, revealed that the current plans from a coaching standpoint are to help the girls understand the principles of the game.

The young Reggae Girlz will play alongside Honduras, Bermuda, Anguilla and French Guiana, who they will face in the opening assignment on April 14. Downswell added that they are knowledgeable of the threat of their Honduran opponents.

"We are looking at the fitness, tactical part and getting them technically sound. We are also looking at helping them to understand the principles of the game and go through the rigours of attacking and defending.

"So far, we know a little about the Hondurans because they are the more formidable opposition but they aren't much (information) we can find about the other teams, so after our first (game) that would give us an insight as to how we would approach the remaining games," Downswell said.

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